Alumnae & Alumni

Gender Studies alumni/ae are encouraged to send news from their lives and careers to appear on the Program's website and in the newsletter. Please email updates, including your year of graduation and/or your graduate program, to gender@northwestern.edu.

To connect with other Gender & Sexuality Studies alumni please join our LinkedIn group.

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Alumni Spotlight

Naliaka Washiki 

Naliaka Wakhisi, Class of 2007

B.A. Performance Studies, B.A. Gender Studies

Project Ready Youth Facilitator, Project Reach Youth (PRY), New York City, NY

     Well Gender Studies has had such a great impact in my life. I've done SO much with my Gender Studies Major! Just last year I was hired to work at MLS middle school in Brooklyn where I taught 6 different 8th grade classes of all girls. I used many things I learned in gender studies to create a curriculum that tailored to the needs of the girls. I was able to talk about identity, sexuality, and gender as a social construct; something many of the girls had never talked about.
     I went on to create workshops that others were interested in! A few months ago I presented a gender workshop for an organization called The Dream Project at their first annual BE BOLD! conference. There, I taught the girls about different expressions of gender and how you do have a choice about how you self-identify. They loved my presentation so much that the organization is eager to hire me to do more work with their students.
     I am currently an educator with several different organizations in New York so I get to create many lessons for many young people!One organization I work with is a non-profit called PRY SAFE. I work on the website and update the FB but I also get to work with a core group of teens twice a week. We focus on sexual health and youth empowerment for teens and young adults. There, I've had the opportunity to create workshops that relate to gender, identity, and how our ideas about gender and the gender binary can lead to things like domestic violence, and unsafe sexual practices. I was able to help students understand how gender is a social construct and how many people self-identify in different ways. There are many spectrums about how you see yourself and there is nothing wrong with where you fall in the spectrum. The young people were blown away by how many expressions of gender there were and how different countries have different constructs outside of the binary we are used to! I'm eager to create even more workshops at my job to engage youth around ender and also sexuality. NU really gave me the tools and the knowledge I needed to create language and discourse around such an important topic! My eyes were opened at NU and I am so happy to be able to transfer what I've learned to younger generations.
   I can go on for days, but basically Gender Studies has been such a great part of my life and I am so happy that I chose it to be one of my majors at NU.